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News

The Hundred draft: How the men's squads stack up

David Warner, Babar Azam unsold as Kieron Pollard becomes first pick

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
05-Apr-2022
Andre Russell revealed he told Kieron Pollard that he was not in the right headspace coping with living in the bubble

Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell were the first two overseas players picked  •  BCCI

Teams prioritised local talent in the Hundred draft on Monday morning: five of the eleven top-bracket £125,000 picks used on domestic players on the fringes of the England set-up as availability concerns saw Babar Azam, Lockie Ferguson and Nicholas Pooran go undrafted.
Each side will sign two 'wildcard' players - one domestic, one overseas - to complete their squads in July. Here is how they stack up after the draft…

London Spirit

Spirit tried to sign Sunil Narine with the first pick of the draft, but settled for Kieron Pollard - despite the fact he is expected to miss the majority of the season due to West Indies commitments and the CPL - after Oval Invincibles used their right-to-match (RTM) card to retain Narine. Liam Dawson is an expensive option at £125k but offers balance to the side and will combine with Mason Crane in the middle of the innings.
Riley Meredith - a favourite of their former coach, the late Shane Warne - brings a high-pace option while Jordan Thompson is a raw but promising allrounder with a T20 strike rate of 165. Daniel Bell-Drummond will open when Zak Crawley is with England, while Chris Wood returns to offer a left-arm angle.

Welsh Fire

Fire prioritised a young, local core, with Joe Clarke and Tom Banton (via their RTM after Trent Rockets attempted to sign him) their two £125k signings. Adam Zampa will lead their spin attack while David Miller slides into the middle order - both are expected to be available for the majority of the season and either of them could captain the side.
Naseem Shah could be an astute £60k signing, though will come into consideration for Pakistan's white-ball squads to play Sri Lanka and in the Asia Cup, which would limit his availability. Sam Hain adds stability in the middle order and Jacob Bethell is a pick with the long term in mind after impressing in the Under-19 World Cup.

Manchester Originals

Head coach Simon Katich has worked with Andre Russell at Kolkata Knight Riders so it was no surprise that Originals used their first pick to sign him, while Laurie Evans was the best domestic batter available by the time they made their second £125k pick. Wanindu Hasaranga's availability is a concern but has made an impressive start to the IPL season and has been signed with future years in mind.
Daniel Worrall was an eyebrow-raising choice at £75k: he qualifies as a domestic player after signing for Surrey using his British passport, but only took three wickets in eight Blast games for Gloucestershire last season and is no longer an automatic selection for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. Sean Abbott is the BBL's all-time leading wicket-taker and likely to be used to close out an innings.

Northern Superchargers

Superchargers prioritised death bowlers after leaking runs in that phase last season, signing Dwayne Bravo (£125k) and Wahab Riaz (£75k) with their first two picks; Bravo should be available for at least six group games before the CPL and Wahab will play the full season.
Adam Hose missed the Hundred's first season through injury but has good numbers against spin and can bat at the top or in the middle, while Roelof van der Merwe and Luke Wright are experienced squad players for a side that will bat very deep. Faf du Plessis - who missed the first season due to a concussion - looks set to captain.

Oval Invincibles

Invincibles used their RTM to sign Narine with their first pick and had locked in their strong local core in the retention window, leaving them limited room for manoeuvre with their other two overseas picks. Rilee Rossouw can blow hot and cold but has impressed in the PSL and while Hilton Cartwright is not a household name, he has developed into a proven six-hitter for Melbourne Stars; if he can clear the ropes at the MCG, he should have no problems on the smaller grounds in the Hundred.
Danny Briggs looks like an astute buy at £50k - not least given Dawson, his former Southern Brave team-mate, went for more than double that fee - while Jack Leaning and Matt Milnes were part of Kent's T20 Blast-winning side; both buys have captain Sam Billings' fingerprints all over them.

Trent Rockets

Rockets openly targeted powerful, versatile top-four batters. They used their £125k pick to sign Tom Kohler-Cadmore after forcing Fire and Brave to use their RTMs on Banton and Quinton de Kock respectively, then picked up Colin Munro - who is likely to be available throughout - and Ian Cockbain at £75k each. Cockbain may start on the bench when Joe Root is available, while Dawid Malan will be the foil to the rest of their batting line-up.
With most of their squad from last season retained, their only other business was to sign Luke Fletcher with their final £30k pick; several domestic seamers including Pat Brown, Tom Helm and Dillon Pennington went unsold but Rockets have always prioritised local knowledge due to Trent Bridge's unusual dimensions.

Birmingham Phoenix

Matthew Wade is likely to be available throughout and looks set to open the batting with Will Smeed, as well as keeping wicket, while Olly Stone is not expected to play red-ball cricket until September after his injury so should be around for the full season, fitness permitting.
It was a surprise that Phoenix used their final overseas spot on Kane Richardson rather than a wristspinner and they may have to rely on Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali as their frontline spin options - though Benny Howell will also bowl his 70mph all-sorts through the middle of the innings. Matthew Fisher adds seam depth, while Graeme van Buuren is a solid back-up allrounder.

Southern Brave

It was an open secret that Brave would use their £125k pick up de Kock - they would have retained him but ran out of spots - and they were forced to use their RTM in order to do so by Rockets. Like Miller, his international team-mate, he will miss the opening night to play for South Africa against Ireland but should be available for the rest of the season following his Test retirement.
Brave had already retained the core of their title-winning squad so had little other business to do, though the signing of Rehan Ahmed - the 17-year-old, England Under-19s legspinner who has never played a professional T20 game - for £50,000 came as a surprise. Joe Weatherley and Dan Moriarty offer middle-order and spin-bowling back-up respectively.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98